It really depends on how much reuse you have and how much of an 
investment you want to put into this, or if you can afford to invest in 
an outsourcing company to help with you with the conversion and training.

When I came to my current company they were using Unstructured Frame, 
but were not using any of it's single-sourcing capabilities. Our company 
has some similar products that have a few chapters that are almost 
identical. For those products I made a separate books for each product, 
and shared the chapters that were almost identical between the books, 
with conditional text marking the differences within the shared 
chapters. There is another product that has a few versions that are 
almost identical, accept for a few sections. For that product I have 
everything in one book, with conditional text for those sections. I also 
have some sections (like Technical Support) that I save in separate 
Frame files and insert them into all the manuals as text insets. The 
shared chapters and text insets I store in a central location.

It's tempting for me to move to Structured Frame, but that would require 
a lot of time to set it up, to learn, and to convert the content. I 
don't think the needs of my company require that investment. Whether 
your company would benefit from Structured Frame or Structured Frame + 
DITA depends on how much reuse of content there is, whether they 
translate into other languages, etc.

The single-sourcing features of Unstructured Frame are not that hard to 
learn, and you could implement it at your own pace.

Good luck.

Shmuel Wolfson
Technical Writer

Joel wrote:
> I am using Frame 8. I have a set of seven manuals that are close to 100
> pages each. Many sections of these manuals are identical, some sections
> differ in detail in minor ways, and fewer sections differ in more
> substantial ways. Currently they are all Frame books with each chapter being
> its own file within the book. There is no re-use of anything at the moment.
> This is becoming increasingly burdensome to maintain, as a change to
> something that appears in all seven manuals requires me to make that change
> manually in all seven files. I would like to get to re-use, or
> single-sourcing, but I?m puzzled as to how to get there. Would the best
> strategy be:
> (a) To use conditional text and generate several versions;
> (b) To try and convert everything to XML and sew things together based on
> individual XML files;
> (c) Something else?
> I have zero XML knowledge, and whenever I read about it, my head hurts. I am
> willing to learn, but the benefit needs to be commensurate with the pain
> involved in learning. I?m looking for the simplest solution that allows for
> some common source material using my existing Frame configuration. Ideas are
> appreciated.
> Joel
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